Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RIP Petit McRouge

With relief sadness Petit has passed on to the big walnut tree in the sky. It wasn't the removal from my home I wanted or wished for. His final meal of apples and walnuts were harvested from my his garden. He perished from what I believe was utter denial of my winning shock being caged in the live trap.

Weeks ago he skillfully removed the barricade a contractor had lazily shoved installed around the roof vent and proceeded to spend his nights running around the attic and in the walls. On sunny days he cavorted outside fighting chasing his cousins and skipping through the trees in search of food.

I will miss the rumble pitter patter of him running through the eave trough, and across the rooftop at exactly 5:30 am; the incessant nattering quiet conversations when I was in the garden; and the game of disturbingly stalking peek-a-boo when I relaxed on the patio.

I shall also miss pulling into my drive, seeing him on top of the neighbours shed, waiting for me. He always gave me the finger waved, flicked his tail, thumped his wee feet and shrieked sang his song, “bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”. He was more of a tenor than a bass but it was a stressful pleasant welcome home.

Sadly Petit wouldn't listen and move on, nor would he enter the trap outside so I could take him to the wildlife reserve and let him free. I had purchased a bag of his favourite food to place with the cage as I released him to become owl food a free range squirrel. But being a male...

Left to dance with reckless abandon mourn his passing are his cousins: GreyTips, Earl Grey, Black Bart, Boof and Ink Spot. They are celebrating wallowing in his departure from the garden, with a feast wake being held in the bird feeders.

Personally, I kinda miss the wee guy outside, but not in my home. Sleep well furry fecker, your memory shall live on. Whenever a walnut drops onto my head I will look up and see your spirit teeheeing at me.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nature songs

winds blow hard this day
whipped leaves, cut into skin,
with their dried edges

though protected with clothes
duplicated to ward off the chill,
this brisk November day

while wind chimes sing
remembrance of summers
breeze, and I sing along

in sync with Chickadees
who scour the garden
searching for seed

as I seek warmth
to relax the muscles,
and fall into dreamland

soothed into sleep
under feathers of down,
natures songs echo

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloweenie - Haiku

rustle of dried leaves
are heard this Octobers night,
yet the trees are bare

in twinkling twilight
movement in stagnant water,
life forms in shadow

maples skeleton
cast shadows in the garden,
stick leaves join the dance

lit carved pumpkins
cast an otherworldly glow,
flame extinguished

blood of ancestors
in the ole burying ground
still beat in my heart 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Peace - Haiku

beneath maples arms
she is sheltered from this life,
unknown peace at last

Friday, October 21, 2016

Home at the end of the lane

Home at the end of the lane it was to them,
a one room log house with hearth
where bread was baked, milk was warmed
and meat was cooked to feed the family of four.

Centuries later their home was moved
to where adventurers may spend the night,
baking bread, warming milk and cooking meat
to feed their family of four and more.

This log house was the original homestead of the Conlin family. It was donated to the town when their homestead was re-created into the Conlin Farm. A site of baseball, volleyball, and soccer fields; and tennis courts.

Unfortunately the log house has never been truly recognised in the settlement of Perth and so it sadly sits at the end of lane in another park gathering dust and critters and the odd adventurer.  

Monday, October 10, 2016


For the last three weeks I've been playing hide and seek with son of Petit La Rouge. He's a smart one. Always removing himself from the area when I'm outside. I've listened to his rumblings in the attic, the gnawing in the kitchen walls and the incensant skinning of walnuts to store for the upcoming winter.

A live trap was placed in the attic. After a week it was removed with no sign of the offered nuts and peanut butter touched nor no sounds heard. Not more than half an hour after its removal the racing began. The declaration of war was made when he spent an hour in the space above my bedroom. He finally quieted when the book I was reading contacted with the ceiling. Was it my yelling “knock it off!” that did it? I doubt it but I was glad it was a paperback.

I've listened to the lads at work offering their supped up killing traps, pellet guns, and recipes of poisons but I can't. It's just not me. I even live trap mice, take them for a drive to the country and release. Mosquitos are fair game though. I have no mercy when dealing with those blood suckers.

For the life of me I couldn't find where he was getting in until I happened to step outside, saw him scurry onto the roof from the walnut tree, and followed him slinking in under the roof vent. AHA! I caught you, you furry fecker! The next day I scanned the roof and saw a hole in the METAL vent. So that was what the gnawing was all about. And I thought it was the grinding of walnuts.

Later on I heard ping ping ping, and thinking it was someone at the door I too scurried in to the house. Checking all entries and finding no one, I shrugged and carried about me day. The next morning I found a walnut on the basement floor. Looking up, I surmised it had rolled down the chimney, bounced onto the furnace pipes, hence the pings, and onto the floor.  I will admit I stood and laughed.

I re-borrowed the live trap and placed it outside where he gathers walnuts. Filled it with peanut butter and walnuts of course. I'll get you now I thought, and then we'll go for a very long drive into the country side where you can live and play with your kind. A day later I checked and the walnuts were gone. ~sigh~ I'm trying here fella but you are trying my patience!

A local roofer has been contacted and he will “swing by” when he's in town next. Swing by? I told him I need the vent replaced before the house sinks due to the extra weight of walnuts.  All I need is a person to climb the roof, seal the vent, trim the overhanging limbs and begone.  I'm not asking for world peace, geeez

So my two goals are 1. Seal the hole in at least one vent; and 2. Take Petit McRouge for a drive. One thing I surely know is that it is never boring around here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

X marks the spot

A wonderful day was spent at the Lanark Archives researching the family forest. I've decided to focus on the mossie branch for now. The ladies couldn't have been more helpful. One in particular spent hours loading my table without me asking. I felt she was a mini me, give a hint and away she went searching for information.

I finally resolved the original family settlement in 1845. That probably means they arrived in 1844 and spent the winter at Brockville. That will remain to be researched. However! And I'm tickled to discover the reason for the Moss School. It was built on the original settlement
of Thomas Moss which to me means that man believed in edumakation! Yes! I couldn't be happier.

Dear Eliza's last will was found and though it's thorough it's also poignant. She couldn't write so her X marks the spot of her signature. Sad that but in those days it was the norm. Along with the note of anyone having a double S in their name meant it was spelt with FS instead of SS. My head nods too.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Frog Flower - Haiku

adrift on water
floating leaves become petals
and I its centre

green on green
sails incognito
legs are oars

sun beams warm the skin
of waning summer colours
frogs fade as flowers  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Searching for beacons

I settle onto the whicker chaise
as sun bids adieu to the day
and the moon whispers bonjour
from its celestial home.

Waiting for beacons
of the night to emerge
I become anxious as night darkens
and only the streetlamp sheds light.

Three nights I have seached,
yet there are no fireflies this year
as the earth and gardens have dried
becoming deserts of skeleton sticks.

I have lived for decades and this year
is the first without summer beacons,
where we curse the endless fall of snow,
but now it is barren and wanting of moisture

If this is the way of climate change
I feel for the children, and their children
when a simple joy of chasing fireflies
becomes a memory of their ancestors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Full Buck Moon - Haiku

drought baren branches
viewed through the full buck moon,
antlers reflected

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

You know it's dry when ...

I came home to survey the garden and what to my wondering eyes do I spy, but the birdbath ringed with ants drinking the water. I know it is dry but really?

We haven't had rain in over a month though there have been torrential downpours, it doesn't soak in because the ground is so hard. Add it to the stifling heat and wicked winds, moisture is sucked out of the earth in no time. And not just the earth. I watched the water level in The Pond drop nearly two inches in a three day period. When you can dig, the water line is at least a foot and a half below normal.

This wasn't good for June nor into July. All forecasts state "get use to it folks". Maybe we'll have lots of white shite this winter to compensate. I shudder at the thought but at least it's a cooling thought. ;)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Baby watch 2016

Tis been awhile.. watching.the babies grow...  It has become a daily check as I leave and return as their nest is over the side door.    Even the neighbour takes care watching out for the parents.

It was a Monday when I left for work and two were standing on the edge. I thought, hhmmm should I grab the camera, then left. Shame on me as they were leaving the nest.  
Soon after I saw one in the apple tree, happy as one can be.  Mind you mum was busy in the garden showing the young ones how to choose dinner. 

Thinking they had all left the nest and carried on
last week I discovered mum had returned...

Two broods in one year!  I am thrilled.  Usually one attempt is enough but this year it seems most birds are having multiply layings.  The weather is off and on, from drought to torrential rains and cold temps but they endure.   It has amazed me how quickly they grow up and carry on with life.  Mother nature at her best.  

I feel privileged that the robins have chosen my home to build a nest and raise their babies. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Full Flower Moon - Haiga

Another beautiful night and I relaxed, just sitting and observing.  I needed this down time.  Above the The Pond the moon appeared.  It was sitting in a carmel coloured sky wrapped in ribbons of grey and blue.  Absolutely stunning!  Unfortunately my camera doesn't take photos through mine eyes.  Drats!  But I was able to capture a few through the trees.

sheltered behind leaves
full flower moon casts shadows,
blossom await sun

Friday, May 13, 2016

let the unfurling begin

shoots slowly poke from the warming earth,
lemon pennywort shows its chartrusesness,
bordering The Pond, casting its glow
the furling begins

solomons seals grow inches in a day,
its shoots two weeks ago now are 2' high
and begin their drooping descent
the furling begins

caramel coloured heuchera glows red
during sunshine, its leaves uncoiled from winters wrath,
then will fade to its name,a sweetness amongst the leaves
the furling begins

hostas creep out and upward, their leaves guaging
air tempertures, tempting each other as if its time,
yes it is I whisper to them shadowed by the sun
the furling begins

fiddleheads uncoil from deep roots
making their ascent into the orchestra of life,
fronds soon to take centre stage
tthe furling begins

checkered lilies, purple and white
open their petals to reveal
a patterened delight
the furling begins

daffies once plump in encased buds
unwrap themselveves revealing faces
shining bright towards the sunday
the unfurling begins

stalks wrapped in red ribbons
jack in the pulpits emerge swollen
ready for springs sermon
the unfurling begins...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Procession

A town alive in a celebration of maple syrup and its goodness. It was full of life under an azure spring sky until the procession began to wind its way through.

Most streets were blocked yet the solemness was not lost as vehicles pulled over, turned on lights and some drivers made the sign of the cross as we passed by.

Their acknowledgement of a dear departed soul on her final journey was not lost amongst the mourners accompanying her along the way. I whispered “thank you” for their consideration.

Out to the country and onto an ancient road we travelled. A dirt road trod by many over the centuries, bordered by fields waiting seed, a rushing brook and stone mills.

This was her final home, in a loving cared for cemetery on a hill overlooking those same fields she once ran through, and next to the school house where she learned the A, B, C's a century ago.

She now rests beside her husband where the morning sun will shine upon them united once again, forever.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Home Tweet Home

The nest laid empty for weeks and I thought of removing it until Saturday past.  Ms. Robin decided to make it her home.  It's well built, and under the eave for protection but directly above a door, sigh.  I must say who ever built it had a lovely sense of decorating by adding dried hydrangea blossoms.

Home Tweet Home  

I'm sharing this with Rambling Woods Natures Notes. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring has arrived

I feel like a child again. Spending days outside until the familiar call “Cherrrrrrryl! It is time to come in! Now! Young lady!” My response was always “but mummm”. Mum is long gone but I still have the need to be outside until common sense tells me tis time. At this time of year common sense would be pulling on another sweater, turning on the garden lights and gasp! putting on socks.

my soul has woken
to blue skies and warmth of earth,
life is refreshed

Five days past there was a drop of 6” of the white shite, Sorels and ice cleats were the required footwear. Today I was in barefeet. The boots are stored, shovels are at the back of the shed and the paddy-o-furniture is out. Ask me if I'm happy if you can stop me long enough from dancing.
sunshine and barefeet
stepping light in the garden,
earth warms the toes

The Pond was drained on Thursday eve, well almost drained. The pump decided to choke with 4” of water left to drain. I took the pump apart, poked, cleaned and dried it to no avail so spent 2 hours bailing the remaining water. I want it to dry completely to kill any left over critters. The past two years I have battled a snail invasion and while they are funky creatures they also eat plants that I've bought. For the last two years I purchased aquatics from a source and both years I've had that problem. While I would give them my business, gladly, I won't this year to prove a point to meself.

plucking wintered shells
out of the depths of blackness,
sun returns colour

Another benefit of draining The Pond was watching robins pick up gobs of mud to build their nests. It was non stop today. I finally followed one and found it sitting on the light over the side door. The nest is quite pretty. She plucked dried hydrangeas and used them in the nest. While I'm not too thrilled with it, I shall let them be. She has been on it most of the day so I can't take it down as there are probably eggs in it.

mud interwoven
with grasses and dried petals,
creates a love nest

Autumn past I planted dozens of golden crocus and winter aconite. Mostly around The Pond. They are robust and brilliant in colour. The Honeybees are enjoying them immensely! I'm very happy they found them. It was a small price to pay to ensure these tiny wonders and such a necessity in the food chain, are met with a feast after their winter sojourn.

honeybees seek food
amongst spring blossoms they flit,
quenching their life thirst

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Haiga - Winter Aconites

winter aconites
spring forth from the warmed earth
bloom mimics the sun 

As I walked through the garden I found these beauties poking about spreading their joy of life and colour.   Though this area seems to be locked in chilly temps it gives us children of nature hope.   And I must say these aconites make one smile.  

Friday, March 04, 2016

Smokey light

In silence
I watch the iron lamp
draw candle smoke
into its light.
I become entranced
with the formations
of silken threads weaving
Tendrils of vines
wrapping around limbs
foraged, in wait of
fighting fae and dragons
for their own space
in the smokey light.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Lately it's been hard to focus. I rambled about no snow and what to my wonderous eyes should appear but 2' of the white shite in one day. I've never experienced such downfall. I left work early and it took me an hour to uncover the car and arrive home. Usually it's 10 minutes. Unbelievable!

A few days later, an ice storm. I would rather have snow than ice. It's tippie toe all the way, even wearing cleats, praying I would make it. The downfall is the wretched neck and shoulder muscles are aching. Days later and they still are, mostly due to the nightly shovelling.

There are goblets half full moments. One is the landscape. When sun shines on the glistening trees it becomes a magical world, one filled with crystals dripping from worn down branches. From the waning full moon reflection through the ole maple to sunrises shimmering along the river oak tops, it tis a wonderous site.

The other moment is listening to the ice chimes that tinkle when the wind blows. Ice encrusted branches swing to and fro creating such a symphony that Stravinsky would be proud of. All that is missing are the bells of horse drawn sleighs through the snow.

we will pay for this”
echoes from my mothers mind
for a mild autumn

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feckin' Formality in the Garden

Two years ago I had the old cement slab patio removed and a flagstone one installed. It had always been a dream to have flagstone on the patio area and then on the paths spreading into the garden. I love a wild garden but with structure. Sounds weird eh, but that's me. I like conformity but there's a wildness about me. Much like English secret gardens bordered by brick walls, sheltering perennial beds flopping hither and thither over their edges.

The pergola posts remained and their bottom brackets showed, miserably. It was not what I wanted, at all ! SoI decided to build post bases to finish their brutal looking bottoms. Boy o boy did i learn about lumber.

A 2 x 4 is NOT actually 2” by 4”, it is 1.5” by 3.5” (if you're lucky). I measured using the ole 2 x 4 STANDARD and came up sorely lacking. Evenings were spent in the basement cutting trim with me dads saw on a 60 year old mitre box relying on the 2 x 4 STANDARD. The bases were nailed and glued in place. HA! I thought, this should be easy to complete. Little did I know I was lied to.

Two trips to the lumber yard for trim and it still wasn't finished. Sitting back I wondered what the feck did I do wrong. I work with numbers all day long so it wasn't like me to make these mistakes. Talking it out with me buddy at work I discovered STANDARDS had changed. O really? So there is no such thing as a 2 x 4? Nope was the response. Feckin' wonderful!

I won't say how many trips up and down the stairs I trudged, or the extra journeys to the lumber yard, or the tubes of No Nails, by the way did you know there is Exterior and Interior? I didn't and used Interior for an exterior job. I shall see how they survive the winter.

In the end I was pleased but I'll know more in spring when joints have breathed or split or cracked. In the meantime I'm pondering a class action suit against lumber associations for lying about their standards. After all when they sell you a 2 x 4 you expect a 2 x 4! I have a feeling I won't get too far with that.

Feck' eh

Friday, February 05, 2016

This winter scares me

This winter is scaring me. The warm temps and lack of snow is wrecking havoc in the garden. I walked it this eve and there are daffy's showing; scillias are up 3-4”; and there are buds on the bare hellebores. There is absolutely snow cover in the garden. I can't remember when this last happened.

Winter bird song is absent as they have found homes in the woods. I haven't heard nor seen Chickadee's, Junco's, Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals or Nuthatches. The bird feeder, usually an all night diner for the feeding frenzies of our fine feathered friends, has become a squirrel suck 'm back eatery. Come on guys! Leave some for the birds! But alas there are no birds.

I drive by the Tay every day and it's free, flowing wild without ice. The level is at a typical April level after snow melt. Today the public docks are near road level. I don't like this. If we do receive snow and I'm saying SNOW, 2-3' in the next month or two, what will the level be come spring. Two years ago it flooded the park between me home and the river and that was a once in my lifetime experience.

The one highlight of the walk about was spying maple sap leaking out of a broken branch. It shone in the sun, frozen in time. O how I wanted to snap off a bit and savour the sugar but being of hobbit height I couldn't reach. Perhaps I'll find a ladder in the morrow.

natures sweet syrup
oozes from a broken branch,
squirrels lick their lips 


Friday, January 29, 2016

Don't no

I've been researching my family tree's in anticipation on my journey to the motherland. I was focusing on me dads family but of course I'm like a butterfly and flit back and forth to me mothers side. I had thought the Moss's arrived from Scotland, born in the moss bogs between Scotland and England but noooo the earliest I've found so far is from Ireland but that works for me !  I knew all along I had an infinity for the green isle and the name Moss is so befitting as I have a thing for green. ;)

While researching I found a birth certificate of a great grandfather on me mothers side. I read it and had a moment. I wonder why after 69 years from his birth he needed one. But the emotional part was when he filled out the Birthplaces of his parents. How very sad is that.

Don't no. No other description or hints, just Don't no. How he, a very proud farmer, must have felt when filling in the form, I can't imagine.  I'm sure his heart ached as much as mine when I read it. But thanks to the great wide web and me dogged determinedness I will find their birthplaces and hopefully his soul will rest knowing they aren't forgotten.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Magical Morning

A brisk winter morning
spent seeking the Fab Five
before duty called me to leave
such a wonderous sight
only to discover there was more.
I stood surveying the skies
checking off the list of Mercury
so dimitiive under the brightness
of Venus that held her own
beneath Saturn, then followed its
brillance upward to Mars diminishing
in the dawn light while Jupiter
was still bright in the heavens.
The more was the gentle falling of frost,
ice crystals softly and silently fell
on to the earth; naked branches
soon glistened, ground snow was
became a carpet of crystals, 
and I inhaled natures magic...

Friday, January 08, 2016

In headlights

My eyes
snow bank

While driving home last night along the canal road I spotted this creature.  Tomorrow I shall warn neighbours to keep their puppie wuppies close.

P.S. I dare you to read it out loud in a Christopher Walken voice :)

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Crystals - Haibun

A few days after Christmas we were treated to hours of freezing rain. It wasn't unexpected with the temperatures we had. Christmas Eve warmed up to a high of 60. There is something wrong sitting on the patio at Christmas. It's just not right for this Canadian. I expect and want snow Christmas Eve and Day then it can pizz off.

It was a treat wearing running shoes sans socks in December. No mitts, no scarf, no boots, no parka; it was pure freedom from winter garb. But the best part was not having to scrape the cars windows at 6:30 am. O what joy that was. Every morning brought a “wooooo hoooo” from me as I walked to the car.

Then it came. A night of freezing rain. I curled up looking out and decided to look at the positive side. The trees were adorned with crystals all a shimmer. My town replaced the old lights with LED's autumn past and instead of that dreadful orange glow, every light emits a soft, pale green. The light shines down and out instead of up. While there are still too many lights on blocking the night sky at least it's an improvement.

These are my thoughts from that eve...

beneath street lights glow
trees glisten with crystal drops
after the ice storm

star field reflection
echoes through a frozen fog
settling in trees

pinpoints of shimmer
highlight apple trees bower
natures Christmas lights